7 ways to reduce your risk of heart disease

by Donna Chisholm / 07 October, 2016
Avocado is one way, as 77% of its calories come from fat and it’s a monounsaturated kind called oleic acid, which is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Photo/Getty Images
Photo/Getty Images


1. Give up smoking (or don’t start).

2. Reduce your “bad” or LDL cholesterol. New Zealand primary care guidelines say that for people with known cardiovascular disease or with diabetes, optimal cholesterol levels are: total – less than 4 mmol/L; LDL – less than 2; HDL – more than 1.

3. Control your blood pressure. Generally, the lower the better. People with a history of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke should have a blood pressure lower than 130/80, says the Heart Foundation.

4. Control diabetes.

5. Exercise. The foundation recommends building up to 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.

6. Follow a heart-healthy diet. A Mediterranean-style diet is supported by many clinicians.

7. Reach and maintain a healthy weight for your height.

Read more: Donna Chisholm investigates new research helping doctors understand your ever-changing risk of a heart attack or stroke

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